Aegidius of Zamora

(c. 1240 - c. 1320)

Born in Spain around 1240, the Franciscan friar Aegidius of Zamora studied in Paris in the early 1270s, when the city was at the center of the commercial bird trade; this may have inspired his interest in the songs of the natural world. Aegidius worked for a time at the court of Alphonso the Wise, compiling for him the Cantigas de Santa Maria, one of the largest known collections of medie­val monophonic songs.

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